By Chris Hale, Bama Hammer:
Even though only one of the latest Alabama coaching hires are “official” from the school, we thought we would take a look at what new outside linebackers coach Tosh Lupoi and secondary coach Mel Tucker brings to the table. Most Alabama fans probably remember Tucker from the past two seasons with the Chicago Bears, where Tucker’s defense was rated among the worst in the league. One of the bright spots of that defense was defensive back Kyle Fuller. Fuller was named to NFL.com’s 2014 All-Rookie Team. If you look past the the Bears’ defense and do a little more digging, you come up with some more positive things. Tucker played defensive back under veteran coach Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin before working as a graduate assistant under a pretty good defensive coach at Michigan State: Nick Saban.
By Drew Champlin, al.com:
It was back to work for Florence linebacker Keaton Anderson after an “unbelievable visit” to Alabama last weekend. Anderson, who committed to Alabama last May and never wavered, despite interest from the likes of Tennessee and LSU, was one of eight prospects in Tuscaloosa for official visits over the weekend. On Monday, he was up very early for training. He lifts at 5 a.m., works out at school from 7-8 a.m., goes to school, works out during the final periods of the school day when he has “senior off periods” since he’s completed all of his electives and has speed training at 4 p.m.
By Charlie Potter, BamaOnLine.com:
David Cornwell didn’t step onto the field during a game in Alabama’s 2014 season. In fact, the freshman quarterback couldn’t even walk down a hallway without a limp two months before the Crimson Tide competed in the first-ever College Football Playoff. Cornwell tore his ACL during his senior season at Norman North (Okla.) High School, but that wasn’t what slowed his pace as he walked to his first classes in Tuscaloosa. At the Sugar Bowl’s Media Day, the Alabama quarterback revealed he had surgery on his ankle after the team’s spring game. He was in a cast until the first day of June.
By Marc Torrence, Athlon Sports:
The toughest fix for the Alabama football team this offseason won’t be under center or on the offensive line or at middle linebacker. In fact, the toughest fix will come at the position where you think it would have the least trouble, as the Crimson Tide’s top two coaches played the position. Alabama’s secondary gave up a Saban-era-low 3,164 passing yards in 14 games this season. Receivers got behind Crimson Tide defensive backs fairly consistently, and when they were covered, the DBs couldn’t seem to play the ball in the air, leading to several big plays. This problem was evident from the first game of the season and continued all the way through Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State.
By Michael Casagrand, al.com:
How long as Tom Roberts done Alabama’s weekly coaches radio show? He had to think about it a second before settling on 1998. That run ends Monday night in what Roberts expects to be a difficult final show before entering retirement. Airtime is set for 6 p.m. CT for the “Hey Coach!” show that’ll originate from the Lakeside Dining Hall on Alabama’s campus. “I’m trying not to have any emotions,” Roberts said Monday afternoon, “because if I do, I’m going to blubber my way through the final show.” Roberts said he plans to prerecord his final segment because it would be too hard to keep it together live on the air.
By Matt Brown, Sports On Earth:
We can overanalyze any possible cracks in the foundation of Alabama, and think about when Nick Saban might lose his fastball, but here we are again. Not only is Saban as good or better than anyone at developing players, but he’s better than everyone at recruiting too. Saban’s recruiting machine is showing no signs of slowing down, even though it’s been an impossibly long two-year national championship drought in Tuscaloosa. The 247Sports composite rankings show the Crimson Tide with a commanding lead, one that they’re highly unlikely to give up by signing day. Assuming they do hold on, that means they’ll have signed the top rated class every year since 2011. The last non-Alabama team to finish first? Florida, in Urban Meyer’s final season.
By John Talty, al.com:
Only at Alabama could a former Recruiter of the Year be brought in as an “intern.” When former Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, Rivals.com’s 2010 Recruiter of the Year, surfaced at Alabama last spring, Alabama head coach Nick Saban described him as “an intern that helps us some in recruiting.” That was quite the drop in prestige given he made $350,000 as an assistant at Washington the year prior, and was regarded as an up-and-coming coach. He was initially expected to follow Steve Sarkisian to USC, but an NCAA investigation, which ultimately cleared Lupoi of any wrongdoing, put the kibosh on that. “He’s got to be the most qualified recruiting intern in the history of recruiting interns,” said Brandon Huffman, the director of recruiting at Scout.com.
by Jonathan Biles, Yellow Hammer News:
The final vacancy on Alabama’s coaching staff might be filled sometime soon. According to Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans, former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will become Alabama’s new secondary coach. Tucker coming on board will officially mean that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will no longer be coaching the safeties, a position he moved to prior to last season. Evans reported that Smart will move back to focusing on inside linebackers.
By Ben Axelrod, Athlon Sports:
For all of the talk of “The Chase” being over for Ohio State following its College Football Playoff National Championship victory, it’s worth noting that Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was Alabama. “The chase is complete,” Meyer proclaimed following Ohio State’s title-clinching win over Oregon on Jan. 12. “It’s done. It’s over.” But with all due respect to the three-time national champion head coach, “The Chase” is really just getting started. And if recruiting rankings are any indication—as they typically are—the Crimson Tide aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.